Spiritually-Oriented Psychotherapy and Counselling – Bringing the Soul Back into Therapy.

Sherry-Lee Smith


Psychologist/EMDR Consultant/Credentialed Eating Disorder Clinician
Perth, Western Australia

What is spirituality?

Spirituality is an element of life that involves the relationship people have with the transcendent or  sacred dimension of life. It reflects a deep desire within the human psyche to connect with this divine dimension in our body, mind and soul. Spirituality may involve thoughts, feelings, or behaviours aimed at transforming peoples’ relationship with the transcendent reality. It can provide meaning and purpose to an individual’s life, and may incorporate a striving for spiritual transcendence, peak or mystical experiences, insatiable spiritual longings, spiritual practices or spiritual transformation. Spirituality and the transpersonal dimension are becoming increasingly important to those in the Western World.

Why integrate spirituality and psychotherapy?

As the western world once again starts to focus on bringing spirituality back into everyday life, psychotherapists are increasingly expected to incorporate spiritual and religious issues into psychotherapy. The division between mental health professionals and religion that has existed for the larger part of the 20th century is coming to an end and we are entering a renaissance whereby spirituality is being used as tool to enhance psychological healing and promote well-being. Spiritually Orientated Psychotherapy then becomes instrumental in creating a space whereby a client may re-evaluate and transform the spiritual meaning of their psychological symptoms which have been activated by their current life circumstances. Through this process spiritual resources can be accessed and used to improve coping and alleviate suffering. In this way spiritually oriented psychotherapy acknowledges that “there is ‘something more’ to human experience than modifiable behaviours, intrapsychic conflict and serotonergic imbalances” (Sperry & Shafranske, 2005), allowing a more holistic approach to the assessment and treatment of mental health issues and life challenges. 


Sherry-Lee Smith is a psychologist based in Wembley, Perth Western Australia. She is passionate about spirituality and combining spirituality and psychotherapy to help people heal and grow in order to reach their full potential. She has been on her own spiritual journey for over 20 years and is open to integrating a client’s spiritual beliefs to help them on their journey of growth, transformation and self-actualisation. Sherry has a special interest in helping clients navigate the spiritual awakening process and the life transitions that often precede and follow.  She is currently the coordinator for the Spiritually Orientated Psychotherapy Interest Group Australia and a member of the Transpersonal Psychology Interest Group (TPIG)  for the Australian Psychological Society.

If you are experiencing any difficulties with mental health and would like to see a spiritually oriented psychologist for help, please contact Sherry-Lee Smith on admin@sherryleesmith.com

Sherry-Lee Smith – Psychologist/EMDR Consultant – Perth WA

Phoenix Holistic Health Centre

Upstairs Unit 4 / 131 Herdsman Parade

Wembley Western Australia

Sperry, L., & Shafranske, E. (Eds. ). (2005). Spiritually Oriented Psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Sperry, L. (2012). Spirituality in Clinical Practice: Theory and practice of spiritually-orientated psychotherapy. New York; Routledge.

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